Listing of Comments on Draft NIH Human Stem Cell Guidelines
Entire Comment Period: 04/23/2009-05/26/2009

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On April 23, 2009, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published draft stem cell guidelines for public comment in the Federal Register. The purpose of these guidelines are to implement President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13505 “Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells,” which was issued on March 9, 2009.

NIH received 49,015 comments by May 26, 2009, the closing date of the comment period, and have compiled these comments on this website. Any comments received via email or mail after the May 26 deadline are not included on this website. In reviewing the comments, NIH determined that 60 comments were inappropriate (i.e., contained SPAM responses or offensive language), and these comments have been excluded from this website. In addition, to protect the identities and personal information of individuals who submitted comments, NIH has removed personally identifiable information from the comments on this website even though individuals consented that the information provided could be made available for public review and posting.



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Comments Attachment
48117 05/26/2009 at 09:53:06 PM Self     I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that harm no one and are already producing good results. In no case should government support be extended to human cloning or other morally reprehensible creation of human embryos for research purposes.

 
48118 05/26/2009 at 09:54:03 PM Self     I believe adoltstemsells is the anser, wie must not distrouw humanlife.

 
48119 05/26/2009 at 09:54:13 PM Self     I am opposed to stem cell research and feel the pros are far surpassed by the cons of this type of research.

 
48120 05/26/2009 at 09:54:28 PM Self     I strongly oppose killing human embryos. The proposed regulations will force taxpayers like me to fund research which is unethical and immoral because it requires the killing of human embryos. Expanding funding to new human embryonic stem cell lines will divert federal funds away from promising research that is treating people now with non-embryonic stem cells and will also divert funds away from other sources of embryonic-like stem cells that have been generated without the use of human embryos.

Adult stem cells are a "natural" solution. They naturally exist in our bodies, and they provide a natural repair mechanism for many tissues of our bodies. They belong in the microenvironment of an adult body, while embryonic stem cells belong in the microenvironment of the early embryo, not in an adult body where they tend to cause tumors and immune system reactions. Most importantly, adult stem cells have already been successfully used in human therapies for many years. NO therapies in humans have been successfully carried out using embryonic stem cells. New therapies using adult stem cells, on the other hand, are being developed all the time.

 
48121 05/26/2009 at 09:54:34 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48122 05/26/2009 at 09:54:46 PM Self     Embryo-destructive stem cell research has shown to be ineffective and even dangerous, forming uncontrollable tumors and causing rejection problems. Adult stem cells are non-controversial, ethical, and most importantly, effective in treating patients. We should not fund controversial research that destroys human life when we have other options that do not destroy human life.

Funding should be prioritized for non-life-destructive research over life-destructive research – especially in light of recent research on induced pluripotency in adult stem cells.

 
48123 05/26/2009 at 09:55:15 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48124 05/26/2009 at 09:55:46 PM Self     We are opposed to your draft guidlines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that harm no one and are already producing good results. In no case should government support be extended to human cloning or other morally reprehensiblecreation of human embryos for research purposes.

 
48125 05/26/2009 at 09:56:18 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48126 05/26/2009 at 09:56:54 PM       May 26, 2009

VIA ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION AND E-MAIL

NIH Stem Cell Guidelines MSC 7997 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20892-7997

Re: Draft NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research, 74 Federal Register 18578-18580 (April 23, 2009); Comment Period Ending: May 26, 2009

To Dr. Raynard S. Kington:

Bioethics Defense Fund, on behalf of neurobiologist and stem cell researcher Dr. Maureen L. Condic and the Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person (collectively referred to as “Commentators”), whose interests are more fully described in Appendix A, respectfully submit the following comments on the above-referenced “Draft NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research” (“Guidelines”). We request that this comment be made part of the public record of the proceedings and that NIH consider this letter as relevant matter to be taken into account in any statement of the basis and purpose of this rulemaking action under 5 U.S.C. § 553.

COMMENTS

For the reasons set forth below, Commentators respectfully request that the NIH reject the proposed Guidelines and cease any effort to use federal tax dollars to fund research involving newly created human embryonic stem cells (hESC) lines. Federal funding of research on the basis of the proposed Guidelines is both ethically irresponsible and scientifically unworthy, especially in light of the continuing breakthroughs in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The 2007 breakthrough in induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, provides patient-specific stem cells that are the functional equivalent of embryonic stem cells. iPSC research meets every mark of good science and has the following ethical advantages: It does not destroy human embryos; it does not use human oocytes (eggs) harvested from women; and it does not alienate a large part of the country’s citizens by engaging in research that they find deeply immoral.

Commentators present the following ten myths and facts for consideration by the NIH:

1. Myth: Despite the 2007 and ongoing breakthroughs in iPSC research, disease research should also include the use of human embryonic stem cells.

Fact: Direct reprogramming to create iPS cells from patients’ skin cells provides a scientifically feasible and promising alternative to human embryonic stem cell research. The Obama administration should therefore adopt the policy of President Clinton’s bioethics commission, which concluded that human embryo destruction posed a moral problem and was “justifiable” only if there were no alternatives: “In our judgment, the derivation of stem cells from embryos remaining following infertility treatments is justifiable only if no less morally problematic alternatives are available for advancing the research. But as we have noted, stem cells from embryos appear to be different in scientifically important ways from AS cells and also appear to offer greater promise of therapeutic breakthroughs. The claim that there are alternatives to using stem cells derived from embryos is not, at the present time, supported scientifically. We recognize, however, that this is a matter that must be revisited continually as science advances.”

National Bioethics Advisory Commission, Ethical Issues in Human Stem Cell Research (Sept. 1999), Volume I, p. 53.

2. Myth: Human embryonic stem cell research involves only embryos that will be discarded by fertility clinics.

Fact: Human embryo cloning is the endgame. Unlike iPS cells, hES cells from “surplus embryos” are not genetically identical to patients, and would be rejected by the immune system. For hESCs to be patient-specific like iPS cells, "surplus embryos" from fertility clinics will not be sufficient. Instead, cloned embryos will have to be intentionally produced in the laboratory, and then destroyed to obtain stem-cell lines. NIH funding of so-called “surplus” human embryos in fertility clinics will serve only to coarsen the conscience of the nation regarding the use of human life as raw material for science experiments. The proposed Guidelines, if adopted, will pave the way for current congressional proposals to repeal the Dickey-Wicker amendment so that federal funding can be used to clone, fertilize and destroy human embryos solely for the purpose of experimentation.

3. Myth: We don't know whether iPSCs or hESCs will be better for research.

Fact: There are at least three significant reasons why iPS cells are better for research: First, patient-specific iPSCs are available “here and now,” compared to the merely theoretical prospects of stem cells from human-embryo cloning. Direct reprogramming is the ONLY way to derive pluripotent cells from specific adult patients (i.e. patient-specific stem cells) for research on human genetic diseases at this time. In the last year, multiple disease-specific human iPS cell lines have already been produced. Second, direct reprogramming makes multiple iPSC lines from an individual patient’s skin cells without any additional cost or effort—an enormous scientific advantage. Obtaining iPSCs does not require access to a fertility clinic, simplifying the requirements for research,. iPS cells are easier to produce than hESCs, so more scientists will work with them and research will advance much more quickly. In the last year, over 800 new laboratories have begun conducting research on iPS cells. Third, because iPS cells do not involve human embryos or human eggs, they will be subject to significantly simpler regulatory requirements. IPS cells are fully eligible now for funding by the NIH without the need for the newly proposed Guidelines, and in fact the initial iPSC study by Dr. Thomson was partly funded by the NIH.

4. Myth: We don't know whether iPSCs or hESCs will be better for therapies.

Fact: Currently, clinical trials for both hESCs or iPSCs are problematic because of concerns regarding safety (cancer risk) and efficacy (ability to differentiate into useful cell types). However, if these obstacles can be overcome, there are at least two significant reasons why iPSCs will be better for human therapies:

First, iPS cells are patient-specific, a huge advantage for therapeutic use, compared to hES cells from “surplus” fertility clinic embryos that are not patient-specific and would require immune suppression.

Second, iPS cells do not use human eggs, making it possible to develop therapies without imposing significant medical risks on women who are induced with thousands of dollars to be given high doses of hormones to produce numerous eggs per cycle for egg production and surgical extraction.

5. Myth: Embryonic stem cells are better because they are natural cells, not laboratory-produced like iPSCs.

Fact: Just because embryonic stem cells, known as ES cells, are isolated from embryos does not mean that they are unchanged by the isolation process. Multiple studies have shown that ES cells are not identical to natural cells of the embryo; rather they are a laboratory-produced cell type, just as iPS cells are. This is precisely why ES cells can be patented as “inventions.”

6. Myth: Scientists still need to compare iPSCs to the “gold standard” of hESCs.

Fact: Yes, but this does not require the on-going destruction of human embryos to make more hESC lines. Existing hESC lines are more than sufficient for this comparison. . The currently eligible and available cell lines are listed here: http://stemcells.nih.gov/research/registry/eligibilityCriteria.asp.

Furthermore, the primate system permits the best in-depth platform for comparative studies. From Rhesus macaque monkeys, primate pluripotent stem cells are available from all conceivable sources: IVF embryos, naturally conceived embryos (removed from the fallopian tube after fertilization), somatic cell nuclear transfer-cloned embryos, parthenotes, and, recently, primate iPS cells as well.

7. Myth: We don’t really know if iPSCs and hESCs are equivalent.

Fact: Dr. James Thomson, the first scientist ever to isolate, culture, and characterize human embryonic stem cells in 1998, and author of one of the 2007 initial human iPSC studies, found that iPS cells “meet the defining criteria” for embryonic stem cells “with the significant exception that the iPS cells are not derived from embryos.” Yu J, Vodyanik MA, Smuga-Otto K, Antosiewicz-Bourget J, Frane JL, Tian S, Nie J, Jonsdottir GA, Ruotti V, Stewart R, Slukvin II, Thomson JA, Induced pluripotent stem cell lines derived from human somatic cells, SCIENCE, 2007 Dec 21;318(5858):1917-20. Epub 2007 Nov 20.

Mouse iPSCs have passed the strictest possible scientific tests for being functional equivalents of mouse ESCs. Tests for human cells are more limited, but human iPSCs have met all the available criteria for being the functional equivalent of hESCs. This can be established with greater certainty through comparisons with the existing hESC lines available through the Bush registry, which have been used in the vast majority of human ESC studies throughout the world.

It is important to note that although iPS cells are the functional equivalent of hES cells harvested from embryos, neither type of stem cells can turn into a human embryo. To be an embryo a cell must be able to do two important things; make all the cell types found in the body and, more importantly, organize those cells into a coherent, functional body. Many kinds of tumors and some types of stem cells (including iPS cells) can make all the cell types found in the body. However, human iPS cells are only weakly able to make the cell types found in the placenta, and could not produce enough placental cells to allow for implantation into the uterus or to support the needs of a developing baby. More importantly, iPS cells are not able to organize the cells they produce into a functional body. Like human embryonic stem cells, iPS cells produce disorganized tumors containing all the cell types found in the body in a chaotic mass. They do not produce babies. Only human zygotes (one-cell embryos) and possibly individual cells from embryos up to the 4-cell stage are truly “totipotent” – able to both make all cell types and organize them into a functioning human body.

Furthermore, the ability of a blastocyst stage embryo to twin does not mean that hES cells or iPS cells are able to become a human embryo. The ability of a split embryo to produce two identical twins reflects a property of the embryo as a whole organism, not a property of the cells extracted from the embryo. At this early stage, the embryo has only two major cell types, trophectoderm (TE) which becomes the placenta, and inner cell mass (ICM) which organizes to form the fetal body. So long as each half of a split embryo contains some of each cell type, it is able to repair this injury, and continue on as a whole organism—with TE cells replacing the missing parts of the TE, and ICM cells replacing the missing parts of the ICM. In contrast, embryonic stem cells are produced from only a part of the embryo, the ICM, and cannot replace the missing TE. Just as an isolated heart would not be able to “regenerate” the whole person it was taken from, an isolated ICM “part” cannot not replace the whole embryo it was taken from.

8. Myth: We shouldn’t limit research to iPSCs because these cells can make tumors and convert to cancer cells.

Fact: Multiple scientific studies show that all pluripotent cells, including human embryonic stem cells, form tumors (teratomas) and can convert to cancer cells. The risk of tumor formation from iPS cells was initially greater than for embryo-derived stem cells because the genes used for reprogramming remained inserted in the cell. However, over the last year, the iPS technique has been significantly improved. Current approaches have eliminated any added risk of tumor formation, and iPS cells are now no more likely to produce tumors or cause cancer than are hESCs.

The risk of tumor formation that is NOT due to the reprogramming procedure but common to all pluripotent stem cells can theoretically be addressed by converting pluripotent stem cells into mature cells that do not form tumors and can be transplanted safely to patients. It is important to understand that the efficient conversion of pluripotent stem cells to transplantable cells useful in the clinic is not yet possible for any human cell type, although much progress has been made. Thus, no immediate therapies should be expected from human pluripotent stem cells, either embryo-derived or iPSC.

9. Myth: Human embryos are just a ball of cells, but patients are human beings who are suffering.

Fact: All human beings began life as a one-cell embryo. The argument that small size and immaturity are sufficient reasons to destroy one human individual, in the hope of benefiting someone of larger size or greater maturity is clearly an unethical line of reasoning. The critical question is whether human embryos at early stages are mere collections of human cells or developing human beings. This question has been thoroughly addressed by the scientific evidence: Embryos are developing human beings, not tumors or disorganized collections of human cells. They are small and immature, as all human beings once were, but they are human individuals.

As Dr. Leon Kass, former chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics, has stated in the Washington Post:

"The moral issue does not disappear just because the embryos are very small or because they are no longer wanted for reproductive purposes: Because they are living human embryos, destroying them is not a morally neutral act. Just as no society can afford to be callous to the needs of suffering humanity, none can afford to be cavalier about how it treats nascent human life."

Leon R. Kass, Playing Politics With the Sick, WASH. POST, Oct. 8, 2004, at A35.

10. Myth: Opponents of human embryonic stem cell research are illegitimately imposing their ‘religious’ views.

Fact: The objection to using human life as raw material for science experiments is based on ethics and morals that recognize the dignity of every member of the human family, and not any spiritual religious belief. Religious objections are those that appeal to specific religious traditions, invoking religious authorities or teachings, such as those found in the Quran, the Torah, or the Bible. An objection to eating during daylight hours in the month of Ramadan, to eating pork at any time, or to eating meat on Fridays during the season of Lent would be examples of “religious” objections stemming from the Islamic, Jewish, and Catholic traditions, respectively. Such objections should indeed be confined to members of the religion itself.

By contrast, objections to human embryo destructive research are not religious; they are ethical and moral objections. They are based on religiously neutral reasoning that takes into consideration both the scientific evidence establishing that human embryos are human individuals and the current U.S. law that prohibits harming human beings (including prenatal human beings) in scientific experiments. The protection of human beings who participate in scientific research is an important ethical consideration. The Nazi experiments on Jews, the Tuskegee syphilis experiments on black men, and the Japanese hypothermia experiments on prisoners of war were unethical, and were not justified simply because they led to new and exciting discoveries that benefited patients. Science, like all human endeavors, must operate within an ethical framework. This is not a religious objection; it is a basic tenet of universal human rights.

For the above reasons, Commentators urge the NIH to reject the proposed Guidelines that provide for federal funding of the unethical, immoral and scientifically unworthy research using stem cells derived from newly destroyed human embryos.

Sincerely,

Nikolas T. Nikas Dorinda C. Bordlee BIOETHICS DEFENSE FUND 6811 E. Voltaire Avenue Scottsdale, AZ 85254

On behalf of Dr. Maureen L. Condic and the Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person

APPENDIX A

Statements of Interest

Bioethics Defense Fund Nikolas T. Nikas, President and General Counsel Dorinda C. Bordlee, Senior Counsel 6811 E. Voltaire Avenue Scottsdale, AZ 85254 (480) 483-3597 E-Mail: info@bdfund.org

Bioethics Defense Fund (“BDF”) is a national public interest law and policy organization that advocates for the human right to life through litigation, legislation and public education in the public policy arenas of abortion, human cloning/human embryonic stem cell research and end-of-life issues. In courts, legislative bodies, law schools, medical conferences and in the media, Bioethics Defense Fund educates policy shapers and citizens about the objective facts surrounding human reproduction and embryology and its role in bioethics law and policy.

Bioethics Defense Fund lawyers served as lead counsel in a Missouri case challenging deceptive wording in ballot initiative that purported to ban human cloning, Missourians Against Human Cloning v. Carnahan (Circuit Court of Cole County, 2006); and filed an amicus brief on behalf of Princeton professor and member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, Robert P. George, D.Phil., J.D. and Dr. Maureen L. Condic in Cures Without Cloning, et al. v. Carnahan, Case No. WD 69376 (W.D. Mo. 2008).

Maureen L. Condic, Ph.D. 207 5th Avenue Salt Lake City, UT 84103-2501 Email: mlcondic@neuro.utah.edu

Dr. Condic is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine, with an adjunct appointment in the department of Pediatrics. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley and postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota. Since her appointment at the University of Utah in 1997, Dr. Condic's primary research focus has been the development and regeneration of the nervous system. In 1999, she was awarded the Basil O'Connor Young Investigator Award for her studies of peripheral nervous system development. In 2002, she was named a McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Investigator, in recognition of her research in the field of adult spinal cord regeneration.

In addition to her scientific research, Dr. Condic teaches both graduate and medical students. Her teaching focuses primarily on embryonic development, and she directed the University of Utah School of Medicine's course in Human Embryology.

Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person Fr. Thomas Berg, Ph.D., Executive Director P.O. Box 10 Hopewell Junction, NY 12533 Email: tberg@westchesterinstitute.net

The Westchester Institute for Ethics & the Human Person is a research institute conducting interdisciplinary, natural law analysis of complex, contemporary moral issues yet unresolved among Judeo-Christian scholars. Anchored in the classic perennial and Catholic view of the human person, our moral inquires are first and foremost of a scholarly nature. However, we pursue answers to these disputed questions with an eye toward enriching the quality of contemporary moral discourse, and fostering sound prudential judgment in cultural and political matters.

We are currently dedicated to the following issues: • The genesis of human life & the moral status of the human embryo • The search for scientifically and morally feasible alternatives to embryo-based biomedical research • The use of emergency contraception in rape protocols • The determination of human death, and end-of-life issues • The relationship between religion, science, and reason as sources of moral insight for modern society.

The Westchester Institute and its scholars have become a distinguished resource and point of reference for think-tanks, centers for applied research, and institutes of public policy analysis. Together, we seek to make a significant contribution to the common good and to contemporary culture.

###

 
48127 05/26/2009 at 09:57:22 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48128 05/26/2009 at 09:57:37 PM Organization    

I applaud these guidelines that establish a framework for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Please ensure that the final draft includes language stating that stem cell lines derived using the prevailing ethical standards at the time they were derived are eligible for federal funding. Also, please include language stating that stem cell lines derived from somatic cell nuclear transfer will be eligible for federal funding. Clear and well-crafted guidelines will lead to sooner therapies and cures for millions of deserving patients. Thank you

 
48129 05/26/2009 at 09:57:56 PM Self     Medical advances have already been made with adult stem cell research. This is the field, if any, that should be funded, not embryonic stem cell research.

 
48130 05/26/2009 at 09:59:02 PM Self     I oppose all funding of embryonic stem cell research. I oppose having my tax dollars used on human experiments conducted on innocent human life. Put the funding towards iPS cell research, that is the only place that I have ever heard of any major breakthroughs.

 
48131 05/26/2009 at 09:59:08 PM Self     As a Catholic, I am against destructive stem cell research. I support adult stem cell research. I urge the NIH to not fund destructive research efforts.

 
48132 05/26/2009 at 09:59:11 PM Self     Stem cell guidelines should be flexible enough to allow the important research needed to save lives and improve the quality of life for people around the world. Excess restrictions will mean that help for millions will be too little or too late or both.

Thank You.

 
48133 05/26/2009 at 09:59:48 PM Self     I am a Parkinson's patient and I hope we will learn how to use stem cells to treat me and thousands of other patients who have Parkinson's or other diseases. We have lost too much time already with Bush's foolisshness. Please vote for federal funding of stem cell research. Thank you,

 
48134 05/26/2009 at 09:59:55 PM Self     I am writing to protest the new NIH guidelines which devote tax dollars to experiments with embryonic stem cells, from destroyed human embryos. Actually, the only successful treatments and cures have come from adult stem cells, taken from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, fat tissue, and other body tissues. Thousands of patients have had their health improved and their lives saved with adult stem cells. Dozens of diseases and injuries including cancer, juvenile diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease have already been treated using adult stem cells, and more treatments are being developed.

The new NIH guidelines favoring embryonic stem cell experimentation are poor science and poor health care policy, and would divert dollars away from real treatments. Any federal dollar used for embryonic stem cell experimentation is a dollar not used for adult stem cells. This will delay adult stem cell treatments and cures. This new policy puts the health of Americans in danger. We need to put the patients first, and put federal funds toward the real treatments and real promise of adult stem cells.

 
48135 05/26/2009 at 10:00:54 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48136 05/26/2009 at 10:01:18 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48137 05/26/2009 at 10:02:15 PM Self     We are opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force us as taxpayers to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that harm no one and are already producing good results. In no case should government support be extended to human cloning or other morally reprehensible creation of human embryos for research purposes.

 
48138 05/26/2009 at 10:02:32 PM Self     I wish to protest the use of federal money to support embryonic stem cell research. This research involves the killing of innocent human beings and is morally offensive to me. The only difference between an embryo and the rest of us is that we were permitted to live and to grow. There is so much evidence of the benefits of adult stem cells that there is no need to support embryonic stem cell research, especially when it is a moral evil. What part of "thou shalt not kill" do we not understand? Kindly please re-consider the use of federal money gained from the taxes of hard working citizens who find this research morally offensive. Thank you.

 
48139 05/26/2009 at 10:02:33 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48140 05/26/2009 at 10:03:54 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48141 05/26/2009 at 10:04:26 PM Self     I vehemently oppose my tax dollars paying for experimentation on human embryos "leftover" from in vitro fertilization. I oppose killing killing human embryos. The proposed regulations will force taxpayers like me to fund research I believe is unethical because it requires the killing of human embryos.Instead, funds should be used for promising research that is treating people now with non-embryonic stem cells.

 
48142 05/26/2009 at 10:04:38 PM Self     I am a physician who has had Parkinson's Disease for the past 10 years. I am very aware of the devastating effects of the disease on my practice, my friends and family and community. Stem cell research holds great promise for millions of us suffering from this dreaded disease. Needless to say, I am so encouraged that progress seems to be happening now with the development of draft guidelines for stem cell research. These guidelines permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created from surplus embryos. I strongly support these guidelines and hope that you will include funding for stem cells derived from other sources as well. Please include opportunties for monitoring and updating these guidelines.

 
48143 05/26/2009 at 10:04:43 PM Organization Bioethics Defense Fund 6811 E. Voltaire Ave. May 26, 2009

VIA ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION AND E-MAIL

NIH Stem Cell Guidelines MSC 7997 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20892-7997

Re: Draft NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research, 74 Federal Register 18578-18580 (April 23, 2009); Comment Period Ending: May 26, 2009

To Dr. Raynard S. Kington:

Bioethics Defense Fund, on behalf of neurobiologist and stem cell researcher Dr. Maureen L. Condic and the Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person (collectively referred to as “Commentators”), whose interests are more fully described in Appendix A, respectfully submit the following comments on the above-referenced “Draft NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research” (“Guidelines”). We request that this comment be made part of the public record of the proceedings and that NIH consider this letter as relevant matter to be taken into account in any statement of the basis and purpose of this rulemaking action under 5 U.S.C. § 553.

COMMENTS

For the reasons set forth below, Commentators respectfully request that the NIH reject the proposed Guidelines and cease any effort to use federal tax dollars to fund research involving newly created human embryonic stem cells (hESC) lines. Federal funding of research on the basis of the proposed Guidelines is both ethically irresponsible and scientifically unworthy, especially in light of the continuing breakthroughs in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

The 2007 breakthrough in induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, provides patient-specific stem cells that are the functional equivalent of embryonic stem cells. iPSC research meets every mark of good science and has the following ethical advantages: It does not destroy human embryos; it does not use human oocytes (eggs) harvested from women; and it does not alienate a large part of the country’s citizens by engaging in research that they find deeply immoral.

Commentators present the following ten myths and facts for consideration by the NIH:

1. Myth: Despite the 2007 and ongoing breakthroughs in iPSC research, disease research should also include the use of human embryonic stem cells.

Fact: Direct reprogramming to create iPS cells from patients’ skin cells provides a scientifically feasible and promising alternative to human embryonic stem cell research. The Obama administration should therefore adopt the policy of President Clinton’s bioethics commission, which concluded that human embryo destruction posed a moral problem and was “justifiable” only if there were no alternatives: “In our judgment, the derivation of stem cells from embryos remaining following infertility treatments is justifiable only if no less morally problematic alternatives are available for advancing the research. But as we have noted, stem cells from embryos appear to be different in scientifically important ways from AS cells and also appear to offer greater promise of therapeutic breakthroughs. The claim that there are alternatives to using stem cells derived from embryos is not, at the present time, supported scientifically. We recognize, however, that this is a matter that must be revisited continually as science advances.”

National Bioethics Advisory Commission, Ethical Issues in Human Stem Cell Research (Sept. 1999), Volume I, p. 53.

2. Myth: Human embryonic stem cell research involves only embryos that will be discarded by fertility clinics.

Fact: Human embryo cloning is the endgame. Unlike iPS cells, hES cells from “surplus embryos” are not genetically identical to patients, and would be rejected by the immune system. For hESCs to be patient-specific like iPS cells, "surplus embryos" from fertility clinics will not be sufficient. Instead, cloned embryos will have to be intentionally produced in the laboratory, and then destroyed to obtain stem-cell lines. NIH funding of so-called “surplus” human embryos in fertility clinics will serve only to coarsen the conscience of the nation regarding the use of human life as raw material for science experiments. The proposed Guidelines, if adopted, will pave the way for current congressional proposals to repeal the Dickey-Wicker amendment so that federal funding can be used to clone, fertilize and destroy human embryos solely for the purpose of experimentation.

3. Myth: We don't know whether iPSCs or hESCs will be better for research.

Fact: There are at least three significant reasons why iPS cells are better for research:

First, patient-specific iPSCs are available “here and now,” compared to the merely theoretical prospects of stem cells from human-embryo cloning. Direct reprogramming is the ONLY way to derive pluripotent cells from specific adult patients (i.e. patient-specific stem cells) for research on human genetic diseases at this time. In the last year, multiple disease-specific human iPS cell lines have already been produced.

Second, direct reprogramming makes multiple iPSC lines from an individual patient’s skin cells without any additional cost or effort—an enormous scientific advantage. Obtaining iPSCs does not require access to a fertility clinic, simplifying the requirements for research,. iPS cells are easier to produce than hESCs, so more scientists will work with them and research will advance much more quickly. In the last year, over 800 new laboratories have begun conducting research on iPS cells.

Third, because iPS cells do not involve human embryos or human eggs, they will be subject to significantly simpler regulatory requirements. IPS cells are fully eligible now for funding by the NIH without the need for the newly proposed Guidelines, and in fact the initial iPSC study by Dr. Thomson was partly funded by the NIH.

4. Myth: We don't know whether iPSCs or hESCs will be better for therapies.

Fact: Currently, clinical trials for both hESCs or iPSCs are problematic because of concerns regarding safety (cancer risk) and efficacy (ability to differentiate into useful cell types). However, if these obstacles can be overcome, there are at least two significant reasons why iPSCs will be better for human therapies:

First, iPS cells are patient-specific, a huge advantage for therapeutic use, compared to hES cells from “surplus” fertility clinic embryos that are not patient-specific and would require immune suppression.

Second, iPS cells do not use human eggs, making it possible to develop therapies without imposing significant medical risks on women who are induced with thousands of dollars to be given high doses of hormones to produce numerous eggs per cycle for egg production and surgical extraction.

5. Myth: Embryonic stem cells are better because they are natural cells, not laboratory-produced like iPSCs.

Fact: Just because embryonic stem cells, known as ES cells, are isolated from embryos does not mean that they are unchanged by the isolation process. Multiple studies have shown that ES cells are not identical to natural cells of the embryo; rather they are a laboratory-produced cell type, just as iPS cells are. This is precisely why ES cells can be patented as “inventions.”

6. Myth: Scientists still need to compare iPSCs to the “gold standard” of hESCs.

Fact: Yes, but this does not require the on-going destruction of human embryos to make more hESC lines. Existing hESC lines are more than sufficient for this comparison. The currently eligible and available cell lines are listed here: http://stemcells.nih.gov/research/registry/eligibilityCriteria.asp.

Furthermore, the primate system permits the best in-depth platform for comparative studies. From Rhesus macaque monkeys, primate pluripotent stem cells are available from all conceivable sources: IVF embryos, naturally conceived embryos (removed from the fallopian tube after fertilization), somatic cell nuclear transfer-cloned embryos, parthenotes, and, recently, primate iPS cells as well.

7. Myth: We don’t really know if iPSCs and hESCs are equivalent.

Fact: Dr. James Thomson, the first scientist ever to isolate, culture, and characterize human embryonic stem cells in 1998, and author of one of the 2007 initial human iPSC studies, found that iPS cells “meet the defining criteria” for embryonic stem cells “with the significant exception that the iPS cells are not derived from embryos.” Yu J, Vodyanik MA, Smuga-Otto K, Antosiewicz-Bourget J, Frane JL, Tian S, Nie J, Jonsdottir GA, Ruotti V, Stewart R, Slukvin II, Thomson JA, Induced pluripotent stem cell lines derived from human somatic cells, SCIENCE, 2007 Dec 21;318(5858):1917-20. Epub 2007 Nov 20.

Mouse iPSCs have passed the strictest possible scientific tests for being functional equivalents of mouse ESCs. Tests for human cells are more limited, but human iPSCs have met all the available criteria for being the functional equivalent of hESCs. This can be established with greater certainty through comparisons with the existing hESC lines available through the Bush registry, which have been used in the vast majority of human ESC studies throughout the world.

It is important to note that although iPS cells are the functional equivalent of hES cells harvested from embryos, neither type of stem cells can turn into a human embryo. To be an embryo a cell must be able to do two important things; make all the cell types found in the body and, more importantly, organize those cells into a coherent, functional body. Many kinds of tumors and some types of stem cells (including iPS cells) can make all the cell types found in the body. However, human iPS cells are only weakly able to make the cell types found in the placenta, and could not produce enough placental cells to allow for implantation into the uterus or to support the needs of a developing baby. More importantly, iPS cells are not able to organize the cells they produce into a functional body. Like human embryonic stem cells, iPS cells produce disorganized tumors containing all the cell types found in the body in a chaotic mass. They do not produce babies. Only human zygotes (one-cell embryos) and possibly individual cells from embryos up to the 4-cell stage are truly “totipotent” – able to both make all cell types and organize them into a functioning human body.

Furthermore, the ability of a blastocyst stage embryo to twin does not mean that hES cells or iPS cells are able to become a human embryo. The ability of a split embryo to produce two identical twins reflects a property of the embryo as a whole organism, not a property of the cells extracted from the embryo. At this early stage, the embryo has only two major cell types, trophectoderm (TE) which becomes the placenta, and inner cell mass (ICM) which organizes to form the fetal body. So long as each half of a split embryo contains some of each cell type, it is able to repair this injury, and continue on as a whole organism—with TE cells replacing the missing parts of the TE, and ICM cells replacing the missing parts of the ICM. In contrast, embryonic stem cells are produced from only a part of the embryo, the ICM, and cannot replace the missing TE. Just as an isolated heart would not be able to “regenerate” the whole person it was taken from, an isolated ICM “part” cannot not replace the whole embryo it was taken from.

8. Myth: We shouldn’t limit research to iPSCs because these cells can make tumors and convert to cancer cells.

Fact: Multiple scientific studies show that all pluripotent cells, including human embryonic stem cells, form tumors (teratomas) and can convert to cancer cells. The risk of tumor formation from iPS cells was initially greater than that of embryo-derived stem cells because the genes used for reprogramming remained inserted in the cell. However, over the last year, the iPS technique has been significantly improved. Current approaches have eliminated any added risk of tumor formation, and iPS cells are now no more likely to produce tumors or cause cancer than are hESCs.

The risk of tumor formation that is NOT due to the reprogramming procedure but common to all pluripotent stem cells can theoretically be addressed by converting pluripotent stem cells into mature cells that do not form tumors and can be transplanted safely to patients. It is important to understand that the efficient conversion of pluripotent stem cells to transplantable cells useful in the clinic is not yet possible for any human cell type, although much progress has been made. Thus, no immediate therapies should be expected from human pluripotent stem cells, either embryo-derived or iPSC.

9. Myth: Human embryos are just a ball of cells, but patients are human beings who are suffering.

Fact: All human beings began life as a one-cell embryo. The argument that small size and immaturity are sufficient reasons to destroy one human individual, in the hope of benefiting someone of larger size or greater maturity is clearly an unethical line of reasoning. The critical question is whether human embryos at early stages are mere collections of human cells or developing human beings. This question has been thoroughly addressed by the scientific evidence: Embryos are developing human beings, not tumors or disorganized collections of human cells. They are small and immature, as all human beings once were, but they are human individuals. As Dr. Leon Kass, former chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics, has stated in the Washington Post:

"The moral issue does not disappear just because the embryos are very small or because they are no longer wanted for reproductive purposes: Because they are living human embryos, destroying them is not a morally neutral act. Just as no society can afford to be callous to the needs of suffering humanity, none can afford to be cavalier about how it treats nascent human life."

Leon R. Kass, Playing Politics With the Sick, WASH. POST, Oct. 8, 2004, at A35.

10. Myth: Opponents of human embryonic stem cell research are illegitimately imposing their ‘religious’ views.

Fact: The objection to using human life as raw material for science experiments is based on ethics and morals that recognize the dignity of every member of the human family, and not any spiritual religious belief. Religious objections are those that appeal to specific religious traditions, invoking religious authorities or teachings, such as those found in the Quran, the Torah, or the Bible. An objection to eating during daylight hours in the month of Ramadan, to eating pork at any time, or to eating meat on Fridays during the season of Lent would be examples of “religious” objections stemming from the Islamic, Jewish, and Catholic traditions, respectively. Such objections should indeed be confined to members of the religion itself.

By contrast, objections to human embryo destructive research are not religious; they are ethical and moral objections. They are based on religiously neutral reasoning that takes into consideration both the scientific evidence establishing that human embryos are human individuals and the current U.S. law that prohibits harming human beings (including prenatal human beings) in scientific experiments. The protection of human beings who participate in scientific research is an important ethical consideration. The Nazi experiments on Jews, the Tuskegee syphilis experiments on black men, and the Japanese hypothermia experiments on prisoners of war were unethical, and were not justified simply because they led to new and exciting discoveries that benefited patients. Science, like all human endeavors, must operate within an ethical framework. This is not a religious objection; it is a basic tenet of universal human rights.

For the above reasons, Commentators urge the NIH to reject the proposed Guidelines that provide for federal funding of the unethical, immoral and scientifically unworthy research using stem cells derived from newly destroyed human embryos.

Sincerely,

Nikolas T. Nikas Dorinda C. Bordlee BIOETHICS DEFENSE FUND 6811 E. Voltaire Avenue Scottsdale, AZ 85254

On behalf of Dr. Maureen L. Condic and the Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person

APPENDIX A

Statements of Interest:

Bioethics Defense Fund Nikolas T. Nikas, President and General Counsel Dorinda C. Bordlee, Senior Counsel 6811 E. Voltaire Avenue Scottsdale, AZ 85254 (480) 483-3597 E-Mail: info@bdfund.org

Bioethics Defense Fund (“BDF”) is a national public interest law and policy organization that advocates for the human right to life through litigation, legislation and public education in the public policy arenas of abortion, human cloning/human embryonic stem cell research and end-of-life issues. In courts, legislative bodies, law schools, medical conferences and in the media, Bioethics Defense Fund educates policy shapers and citizens about the objective facts surrounding human reproduction and embryology and its role in bioethics law and policy.

Bioethics Defense Fund lawyers served as lead counsel in a Missouri case challenging deceptive wording in ballot initiative that purported to ban human cloning, Missourians Against Human Cloning v. Carnahan (Circuit Court of Cole County, 2006); and filed an amicus brief on behalf of Princeton professor and member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, Robert P. George, D.Phil., J.D. and Dr. Maureen L. Condic in Cures Without Cloning, et al. v. Carnahan, Case No. WD 69376 (W.D. Mo. 2008).

Maureen L. Condic, Ph.D. 207 5th Avenue Salt Lake City, UT 84103-2501 Email: mlcondic@neuro.utah.edu

Dr. Condic is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine, with an adjunct appointment in the department of Pediatrics. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley and postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota. Since her appointment at the University of Utah in 1997, Dr. Condic's primary research focus has been the development and regeneration of the nervous system. In 1999, she was awarded the Basil O'Connor Young Investigator Award for her studies of peripheral nervous system development. In 2002, she was named a McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Investigator, in recognition of her research in the field of adult spinal cord regeneration.

In addition to her scientific research, Dr. Condic teaches both graduate and medical students. Her teaching focuses primarily on embryonic development, and she directed the University of Utah School of Medicine's course in Human Embryology.

Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person Fr. Thomas Berg, Ph.D., Executive Director P.O. Box 10 Hopewell Junction, NY 12533 Email: tberg@westchesterinstitute.net

The Westchester Institute for Ethics & the Human Person is a research institute conducting interdisciplinary, natural law analysis of complex, contemporary moral issues yet unresolved among Judeo-Christian scholars. Anchored in the classic perennial and Catholic view of the human person, our moral inquires are first and foremost of a scholarly nature. However, we pursue answers to these disputed questions with an eye toward enriching the quality of contemporary moral discourse, and fostering sound prudential judgment in cultural and political matters.

We are currently dedicated to the following issues: • The genesis of human life & the moral status of the human embryo • The search for scientifically and morally feasible alternatives to embryo-based biomedical research • The use of emergency contraception in rape protocols • The determination of human death, and end-of-life issues • The relationship between religion, science, and reason as sources of moral insight for modern society.

The Westchester Institute and its scholars have become a distinguished resource and point of reference for think-tanks, centers for applied research, and institutes of public policy analysis. Together, we seek to make a significant contribution to the common good and to contemporary culture.

###

 
48144 05/26/2009 at 10:04:52 PM Self     I object to any tax dollars being used to fund embryonic stem cell research which is a result of the destruction of human life. Research in the area of adult stem cells, which is not controversial, has already shown medical benefits which embryonic stem cells do not. No tax dollars should be used for embryonic stem cell research! The proposed regulations do not prevent future funding for embryonic stem cell research that could lead to the creation of clones and human-animal hybrids. This loophole must be closed immediately.

 
48145 05/26/2009 at 10:04:53 PM Self     Dear NIH, I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that harm no one and are already producing good results. In no case should government support be extended to human cloning or other morally reprehensible creation of human embryos for research purposes.

 
48146 05/26/2009 at 10:05:00 PM Self     I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that do not destroy human life and are already proven successful. There is no case under which government support should be extended to human cloning or the creation of human embryos for research purposes. Embryo-destructive stem cell research has shown to be ineffective and even dangerous, forming uncontrollable tumors and causing rejection problems. Adult stem cells are non-controversial, ethical, and most importantly, effective in treating patients. We should not fund controversial research that destroys human life when we have other options that do not destroy human life. The proposed regulations do not prevent future funding for embryonic stem cell research that could lead to the creation of clones and human-animal hybrids. This loophole must be closed immediately.

 
48147 05/26/2009 at 10:05:28 PM Self     As a taxpayer, I object to spending money on embryonic stem cell research. It does not work. Recent studies show that using adult stem (iPS) cells yields far better results in treating Parkinson's and other ailments, without the moral dilemma that accompanies the procurement of embryonic stem cells. Clearly, adult stem cells are the way to go.

 
48148 05/26/2009 at 10:05:56 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead, support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions - unlike embryonic stem cell research, which have not produced a single cure. Umbillical cord blood stem cells are yet another ethical source. There is no reason to use embryonic stem cells - it is politically motivated rather than ethical and scientifically sound.

 
48149 05/26/2009 at 10:06:06 PM Self     I. Scope of Guidelines

Change last line to:

Although human embryonic stem cells are not human embryos, human embryos must be killed to harvest their stem cells.

II. A. Remove "...responsible, scientifically worthy..." . There is no evidence that embryonic stem cell research is either responsible or worthy science.

B. Remove "...for reproductive purpose.....for research purposes," and insert "specifically for IVF, remain available for this purpose but are no longer destined for IVF by the embryo's owner(s)and were donated for vivisection and removal of their stem cells..."

1. Remove "...no longer needed for reproductive purposes..." and insert "produced for IVF " and add "including the option of donating the embryo(s) for adoption." after "...donor(s)...".

2. Donation was not presented as an option when the embryos were created for IVF purposes.

3. Owners of embryos created for IVF purposes did not seek to donate embryos unless one IVF procedure has been undertaken with or without success.

4. Owners may revoke a decision to allow the destruction of their embryo(s) up until the embryo(s) are destroyed.

5. The IVF facility and facility personnel involved in creating the embryo for IVF may not be associated with or profit from researchers or research facilities involved in human embryonic stem cell research.

6. Owners of embryos produced for IVF are directed to independent research facilities if a decision is made to donate an embryo for destruction and experimentation the emryos stem cells.

III.

A. remove "...primate..."

 
48150 05/26/2009 at 10:06:15 PM Self     I support federal funding of stem cell research and expanded funding for all existing stem cell llines. Further, I support somatic cell nuclear transfer.

I personally know at least 2 dozen people of all walks of life who stand to have their lives improved by this research. An informed compassionate society uses its intelligence to improve the lives of all citizens. How can we not be vigorous in our use of this knowledge, research and technology to bring hope to so many?

 
48151 05/26/2009 at 10:06:24 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

And quite frankly, the idea of destroying human embryos in order to "find the cure" is about as legit as implementing cannibalism in order to fix world hunger.

 
48152 05/26/2009 at 10:06:26 PM Self     As a citizen of the U.S. I oppose the use of my tax dollars going to the wanton destruction of human life. It is scientific fact that a unique human being is created at conception, be that conception in a test-tube or human uterus.

 
48153 05/26/2009 at 10:06:48 PM Self     As a citizen of the U.S. I oppose the use of my tax dollars going to the wanton destruction of human life. It is scientific fact that a unique human being is created at conception, be that conception in a test-tube or human uterus.

 
48154 05/26/2009 at 10:06:56 PM Self     I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that do not destroy human life and are already proven successful. There is no case under which government support should be extended to human cloning or the creation of human embryos for research purposes.

 
48155 05/26/2009 at 10:07:02 PM Self     The area where stem cell research has scientificaly proven viable and ositive is *adult stem cell research*. In fact, all the progress has occurred in this area. Fetal stem cell research is proving to be not only a dead-end, but positively harmful (first and foremost to the child who is killed) since fetal stem cells have grown into cancerous tumors when used. Morally, fetal stem cell research necessitates killing the incipient human life of the person in the very earliest stages of development. Pragmatically, it is a huge waste of funds that would be better used for adult stem cell research.

 
48156 05/26/2009 at 10:07:21 PM Self     To whom it may concern:

I am an attorney with the *****, obviously speaking on my own behalf.

Discussions of ethical guidelines, predictions of treatments and cures, and excitement over crossing frontiers of scientific research do not mask a simple fact: in order to conduct this research, you must kill human beings. I therefore object because killing or manipulating human beings for scientific research, like with Mengele and Tuskegee, which are examples of the same thing, is intrinsically evil, violates the laws of Nature and Nature's God, and should be illegal.

There are other lesser concerns for you to consider:

* It is a waste of money-- states have already poured billions of dollars into this research, and it has yielded nothing.

* It is unnecessary-- state and private capital is available.

* You will be using my money and the money of millions of other objectors to do it.

* There is other, more promising research being done with adult stem cells.

I will leave you with two quotes to consider:

"The moratorium has dramatically limited the development of possible treatment for millions of individuals who suffer from serious disorders, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and leukemia. We must let medicine and science proceed unencumbered by anti-abortion politics."

"The Bush Administration is again wielding the anti-abortion club. This time its bias threatens access to . . . a potentially effective treatment for breast and brain cancer, Cushing's disease, glaucoma and diabetes."

The first is from Bill Clinton, made on January 22, 1992, when he removed the ban on federal funding for farming tissue from aborted fetuses. The second is from Oregon representative (now Senator) Ron Wyden, in an op-ed column from the April 10, 1991, edition of the New York Times, decrying the first Bush Administration's import ban on RU-486.

These justifications sound almost identical to what is being foisted on the public with embryonic stem cell research. The first two instances turned out to be false promises, please do not spend millions of dollars on more of the same. Not only is it the professional integrity of the individual scientists and advocates that will suffer, it is also the credibility of the National Institutes of Health that will suffer when these experiments fail. Finally, and most importantly, the damage to the spiritual life of all of those involved in this research, and of the nation as a whole, is not worth it, especially when options are available that do not harm anyone.

Please do not drag our nation into this moral quagmire-- honor the timeless principles that make our nation great: among them respect for the dignity of every human life.

I will continue to pray for all who are involved in this effort.

 
48157 05/26/2009 at 10:07:28 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48158 05/26/2009 at 10:07:59 PM Self     I am against this.

 
48159 05/26/2009 at 10:08:02 PM Self     Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress. I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made. I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
48160 05/26/2009 at 10:08:05 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48161 05/26/2009 at 10:08:19 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48162 05/26/2009 at 10:08:53 PM Self     No matter how small, a person is a person! I am strongly opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which compel U.S. taxpayers to subsidize research requiring the killing of tiny, innocent human persons. It is a lie to call this ethical research; it is wrong and un-American! Such research goes against the God-given rights--acknowledged by our Declaration of Independence--to LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that kill or harm no one and are already producing good results. Embryonic stem cell research causes not only the destruction of embryos--the killing of little humans--but harm to those receiving treatments using them!

Furthermore, in no case should government support be extended to human cloning or other morally reprehensible creation of human embryos for research purposes.

 
48163 05/26/2009 at 10:08:55 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48164 05/26/2009 at 10:10:08 PM Organization    

Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I am a member of the Parkinson’s community and have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress.

I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made.

I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
48165 05/26/2009 at 10:10:52 PM Self    

Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I am a member of the Parkinson’s community and have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress.

I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made.

I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
48166 05/26/2009 at 10:11:09 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has drafted guidelines for distributing these funds that devote my tax dollars to experiments with embryonic stem cells, from destroyed human embryos. But the only successful treatments and cures come from adult stem cells, taken from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, fat tissue, and other body tissues. Thousands of patients have had their health improved and their lives saved with adult stem cells. Dozens of diseases and injuries including cancer, juvenile diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease have already been treated using adult stem cells, and more treatments are being developed.

The new NIH guidelines are poor science and poor health care policy, and would divert dollars away from real treatments. Any federal dollar used for embryonic stem cell experimentation is a dollar not used for adult stem cells. This will delay adult stem cell treatments and cures. This new policy puts the health of Americans in danger. We need to put the patients first, and put federal funds toward the real treatments and real promise of adult stem cells. Wake up before you kill more than you save.

 
48167 05/26/2009 at 10:11:22 PM Self     As a stem cell scientist I am very concerned with the Stem Cell Guidelines as proposed. I believe the following changes should be made:

1. The current title Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research should be revised as follows: National Institutes of Health Guidelines for the Federal Funding of Human [Embryonic] Stem Cell Research. This would more accurately reflect the purpose of the guidelines, which is to identify the kinds of research eligible for federal funding. 2. [Refers to Section IIB] There are fundamental problems with the structure proposed by the NIH to manage informed consent that would qualify or disqualify stem cell lines for federal funding. If these regulations go forward unmodified, it would dramatically and needlessly limit the number of stem cell lines that could be used in Federally funded research. The regulations also need to have provisions that would allow the use of cell lines that are derived in other jurisdictions under ethical guidelines that have been carefully and responsibly considered, but that may not be exactly the same as those of the NIH. These structural issues with respect to informed consent must be resolved to allow maximum progress toward understanding stem cell biology and the development of therapies. We strongly recommend that the NIH consult with institutions and organizations that have previously considered these issues and consider leveraging existing protocols to ensure that scientifically significant work can proceed in an ethically responsible way. The New York Stem Cell Foundation, which has been deeply involved with these issues, fully endorses the well-developed comments and approaches recommended to the NIH by our colleagues at the ISSCR, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, CAMR and NYAMR (the New York Academy of Medical Research), among others.

3. [Refers to Section IIC of the guidelines] Establishment of a Federal Registry of Stem Cell Lines. At the same time as increasing numbers of stem cell lines are being generated, the rules governing their use are becoming ever more complex as different state and national jurisdictions establish their own particular guidelines that qualify the lines for research support. The federal government could provide an important service by establishing a comprehensive registry for stem cells that would give their provenance, including the method of derivation, the conditions of derivation (use of animal cells and products), consent and payment status, if relevant, degree of characterization, availability and eligibility for federal support. To be most useful, the federal registry should be as comprehensive as possible and not be limited to lines that are eligible for Federal support. With such a registry, investigators will be able to determine unambiguously which cell lines meet the requirements of which funding sources. An authoritative registry would save repetitive documentation by research institutions and funding agencies and would facilitate progress.

4. [Refers to Section IV of the guidelines] The proposed guidelines would limit some very promising avenues of current research, including the creation of disease and patient specific human embryonic stem cell lines, by specifically excluding funding for stem cell lines derived by somatic cell nuclear transfer (?SCNT?), or from parthenotes or IVF embryos created for research. The guidelines also, albeit inadvertently, limit the genetic diversity of the human embryonic stem cell lines that will be eligible for federal funding because of the socio-economic demographics of those who currently pursue IVF treatment. The guidelines are inconsistent with President Obama?s Executive Order 13505, March 9, 2009, seemingly putting politics ahead of scientific advancement. It is extremely important that scientists be allowed to use existing and new human embryonic stem cell lines in Federally sponsored research, as long as the lines are made by methods that are consistent with best ethical and medical practices. Although Federal funds cannot be used to make the lines because of the Dickey-Wicker amendment, research on such lines should not be deprived of Federal support. This would amplify the utility of these stem cell lines and accelerate the rate of progress derived from them.

 
48168 05/26/2009 at 10:11:23 PM Self    

Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I am a member of the Parkinson’s community and have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress.

I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made.

I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
48169 05/26/2009 at 10:11:43 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48170 05/26/2009 at 10:12:02 PM Self    

Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I am a member of the Parkinson’s community and have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress.

I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made.

I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
48171 05/26/2009 at 10:12:41 PM Self     Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I am a member of the Parkinson’s community and have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress. I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made. I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses. If you no longer wish to receive e-mail from us, please click here.

 
48172 05/26/2009 at 10:12:58 PM Self     As a biomedical researcher with a great enthusiasm for studying the large number of high-quality human embryonic stem cell lines that have been developed in recent years, I am concerned that the very detailed draft guidelines may preclude us from using many of the already existing lines, even if they had been developed from leftover embryos generated for reproductive purposes. I suggest that broader and less restrictive guidelines be applied to the already existing stem cell lines, whereas the proposed draft guidelenes be applied only to those lines that will be generated in the future.

 
48173 05/26/2009 at 10:14:33 PM Self     Please create guidelines to prohibit funding for embryonic stem cell research and any other research which kills the fertilized egg as a byproduct or side effect or as the main intent of any procedure or process involving stem cells.

Furthermore, with the recent advances of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, create guidelines which funnels all funding for stem cells into this type of usage.

With all of the advances of adult and Pluripotent Stem Cells, there is absolutely NO reason to fund embryonic stem cell research at the expense of killing the unborn. The justification is simply NOT THERE!

 
48174 05/26/2009 at 10:14:37 PM Self     Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I am a member of the Parkinson’s community and have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress. I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made. I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
48175 05/26/2009 at 10:14:47 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48176 05/26/2009 at 10:14:59 PM Self     Human embryonic stem cell research should not be federally funded for several reasons: it's a loser investment because this research has produced no successful disease treatments or preventions, it's unethical because it renders human life as a commodity and there are better uses for *our* scarce tax dollars given all the other programs that our government seems to think it needs to support.

 
48177 05/26/2009 at 10:15:21 PM Self     Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I am a member of the Parkinson’s community and have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress. I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made. I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
48178 05/26/2009 at 10:15:35 PM Self     10The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48179 05/26/2009 at 10:16:44 PM Self     We are opposed to having our tax money be used to support any research on embryonic stem cells because such research has proven entirely ineffective, dangerous to the recipient, and it destroys human life.

 
48180 05/26/2009 at 10:17:10 PM Self     It is long past due that more research be done on Human Stem Cells and their application. These guidelines are an excellent start and my thanks and good wishes to the Obama administration for helping this go forward.

 
48181 05/26/2009 at 10:17:23 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48182 05/26/2009 at 10:17:26 PM Self     I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that harm no one and are already producing good results. In no case should government support be extended to human cloning or other morally reprehensible creation of human embryos for research purposes.

 
48183 05/26/2009 at 10:17:28 PM Self     For many Americans with a personal connection to type 1 diabetes, the Administration’s expansion of the federal policy on embryonic stem cell research has renewed our hope for a cure. I am writing today to support the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) draft guidelines and suggest a change to ensure promising, ethically conducted research currently underway will be eligible for federal funding in the future.

The Administration’s Executive Order on stem cell research restored scientific decision-making to its rightful place at the NIH. In these guidelines, the NIH has demonstrated its capacity to formulate a research framework that will unleash the potential of embryonic stem cell research while maintaining the highest safety and ethical standards. I would encourage the NIH, however, to grandfather into this policy stem cell lines that have received federal funding, as well as existing lines that were derived in an ethically-responsible manner according to the best practices at the time. Research on these stem cell lines should be eligible for federal funding so that scientists can maximize the scientific advancements already achieved through research on these lines.

Research should be vigorously pursued on all promising stem cell sources that could potentially lead to a cure for type 1 diabetes. While embryonic stem cell research is still in its early stages, this research has already yielded impressive results in our continuing effort to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Recent research suggests that embryonic stem cells can be differentiated to produce the insulin-producing beta cells that could reverse the course of type 1 diabetes.

We do not yet know which stem cell sources may ultimately lead to a cure or be the most clinically useful or practical for patients with type 1 diabetes. It is clear, however, that the more knowledge we gain about embryonic stem cells, the better we can assess the full therapeutic potential of all stem cell sources. These draft guidelines allowing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research using excess embryos from fertility clinics will ensure that this research matures and its potential is more fully realized. I commend the NIH for allowing this important research to expand in a scientifically and ethically appropriate manner.

 
48184 05/26/2009 at 10:17:34 PM Self     Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I am a member of the Parkinson’s community and have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress. I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made. I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
48185 05/26/2009 at 10:17:48 PM Self     Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress.

I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made.

I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
48186 05/26/2009 at 10:18:14 PM Self     I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that harm no one and are already producing good results. In no case should government support be extended to human cloning or other morally reprehensible creation of human embryos for research purposes.

 
48187 05/26/2009 at 10:18:59 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48188 05/26/2009 at 10:20:40 PM Self     I am opposed to infant stem cell research. Based on readings on this subject, adult stem cell research does offer potential for breakthroughs at this time.

I have an ethical and religious opposition to infant stem cell research.

 
48189 05/26/2009 at 10:21:28 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48190 05/26/2009 at 10:22:03 PM Organization Citizens for Science and Ethics P.O. Box 1491, Tallahassee, FL 32302 I represent Citizens for Science and Ethics, a group of scientific, medical, business, and private individuals who are opposed to the NIH draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research which, for the first time, will encourage the destruction of human life subsidized by taxpayers when more sound science prevails. These guidelines promote a biased and rushed consent process by allowing use of embryos that were never frozen, thus, pressuring women for informed consent at a time when they are wrestling with the problem of infertility. Furthermore, the proposed policy goes far beyond the proposal to use frozen embryos that may be discarded by allowing the option upfront for parents to donate their embryos for destructive research. Finally, as even embryonic stem cell (ESC) proponents admit, the most likely use for ESC will not be in developing new treatments and therapies, but rather in drug safety testing and disease modeling. This is clearly not the ESC “promise” that was made by President Obama to the American public. In addition to promoting an unethical approach to procuring ESC, the draft guidelines are also naïve, since it is unquestionably true that the proven technologies of adult and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are vastly superior to the “promise” of ESCs. Ian Wilmut, former outspoken cheerleader for ESC research, has recently commented that the “availability and capacities of iPSC are unquestionable”, and any remaining technical challenges will require very little time to overcome. He acknowledges that the availability of iPSC not only abrogates the cloning requirement necessitated by conventional ESC, but that iPSC are also “more useful than embryonic cells” in providing for disease modeling and drug screening, because one can study the inherited disease of a patient without having to introduce the genetic error. President Obama’s Executive Order ignores the 70+ diseases already being clinically treated with ethically-procured adult stem cells, and sends us back in time by spending federal monies on archaic technology. Science has generated and improved the method to produce more useful embryonic-like stem cells in iPSC without destroying embryos. World-renowned investigators and institutes are studying iPSC and reporting their advantages over ESC. The Scripps Institute, the University of Peking, and the University of California, San Diego joint publication in January, for example, describes that their developed human iPSC, unlike human ESCs, are a counterpart to the conventional and most useful mouse ESCs that have already generated a large volume of data, therefore offering an advantage in biomedical research by allowing knowledge gained from iPSC to be more directly translatable to human cells. Furthermore, Britain, the home of Dr. Wilmut and a hotbed of ESC funding, is experiencing a "brain drain" of some of its most notable scientists because of the imbalanced focus and preferential funding of ESC over non-ESC stem cell research, which has resulted in not a single patient being treated by ESCs for any disease or disorder. This is a powerful rebuke of the President's prediction that our best scientists will leave for other countries if ESC research is not funded. NIH has the responsibility for funding research in accordance with its published criteria and goals: “scoring that reflects the overall impact that the project could have on the advancement of science”, and to “advance our understanding of biological systems, to improve the control of disease, and to enhance health”. Funding influenced by well-established investigators and research consortiums who are politically pressing for use of ESCs in the light of both their limitations and the availability of more advanced tools is scientifically and fiscally irresponsible. If the NIH and the President stand behind the President’s promise to “make scientific decisions based on fact” they should be funding only iPS and adult stem cell research rather than wasting taxpayers’ money by squandering the limited financial resources of the NIH on clearly inferior, ethically challenged science. CSE recently initiated circulation of a petition opposing use of tax dollars for unethical and clinically dubious experiments that require the destruction of human embryos and requesting the President to keep cures on the fast track while maintaining the highest ethical standards. The very early response has yielded 1,500 signatures that supported this petition. This is merely a reflection of the larger mass of people who have come to share this view as they become educated on the real progress that has been made in this research field and want their tax money used to further promising and ethical science.

 
48191 05/26/2009 at 10:22:28 PM Self     For many Americans with a personal connection to type 1 diabetes, the Administration’s expansion of the federal policy on embryonic stem cell research has renewed our hope for a cure. I am writing today to support the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) draft guidelines and suggest a change to ensure promising, ethically conducted research currently underway will be eligible for federal funding in the future.

The Administration’s Executive Order on stem cell research restored scientific decision-making to its rightful place at the NIH. In these guidelines, the NIH has demonstrated its capacity to formulate a research framework that will unleash the potential of embryonic stem cell research while maintaining the highest safety and ethical standards. I would encourage the NIH, however, to grandfather into this policy stem cell lines that have received federal funding, as well as existing lines that were derived in an ethically-responsible manner according to the best practices at the time. Research on these stem cell lines should be eligible for federal funding so that scientists can maximize the scientific advancements already achieved through research on these lines.

Research should be vigorously pursued on all promising stem cell sources that could potentially lead to a cure for type 1 diabetes. While embryonic stem cell research is still in its early stages, this research has already yielded impressive results in our continuing effort to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Recent research suggests that embryonic stem cells can be differentiated to produce the insulin-producing beta cells that could reverse the course of type 1 diabetes.

We do not yet know which stem cell sources may ultimately lead to a cure or be the most clinically useful or practical for patients with type 1 diabetes. It is clear, however, that the more knowledge we gain about embryonic stem cells, the better we can assess the full therapeutic potential of all stem cell sources. These draft guidelines allowing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research using excess embryos from fertility clinics will ensure that this research matures and its potential is more fully realized. I commend the NIH for allowing this important research to expand in a scientifically and ethically appropriate manner.

 
48192 05/26/2009 at 10:22:29 PM Self     Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I am a member of the Parkinson’s community and have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress. I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made. I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

 
48193 05/26/2009 at 10:22:37 PM Self     I oppose implementation of the proposed Human Stem Cell Guidelines for the following reasons, among others:

The guidelines give the NIH too much leeway to decide what could be a scientifically worthwhile use of human embryos for the purposes of obtaining stem cells. For instance, the guidelines contain no restrictions on the stage to which an embryo might be allowed to develop before destroying it to obtain stem cells.

The guidelines have the effect of treating human embryos as products and commodities rather than as the beginning stage of a human life.

The guidelines would compel citizens and taxpayers who are morally opposed to the deliberate destruction of human embryos for research to fund such research.

 
48194 05/26/2009 at 10:22:57 PM Self     Stem cell research holds much promise in the search for a cure and better treatments for the nearly 24 million American adults and children with diabetes, as well as those with many other serious medical conditions.

This research will allow scientists an opportunity to better explore how to control and direct stem cells so they can grow insulin-producing beta cells found in the pancreas. Creating new beta cells could mean a cure for type 1 diabetes and could provide a powerful tool for controlling type 2 diabetes.

I strongly support the draft guidelines on embryonic stem cell research. They demonstrate the ability of NIH to create a research framework that will allow for the potential of embryonic stem cell research while maintaining the highest safety and ethical standards.

As this process moves forward, however, I hope that NIH will consider adapting the guidelines to ensure they include funding not only new stem cell lines, but current stem cell lines that have been developed using prevailing ethical practices. Research on these current stem cell lines should be eligible for federal funding as part of the final rule.

Given the enormous promise of stem cells for diseases such as diabetes, it is important to allow federal funding for all forms of stem cell research, including research on embryonic stem cells, and that NIH continue to adapt as our scientists learn more about the promise of stem cell research.

I commend NIH for taking this important action to support research that provides the potential for new treatments, and ultimately a cure, for diabetes.

 
48195 05/26/2009 at 10:23:19 PM Self     I am opposed to your draft guidelines for embryonic stem cell research, which force me as a taxpayer to subsidize research requiring the destruction of innocent human life. Support should be directed to stem cell research and treatments that do not destroy human life and are already proven successful. There is no case under which government support should be extended to human cloning or the creation of human embryos for research purposes.

Embryo-destructive stem cell research has shown to be ineffective and even dangerous, forming uncontrollable tumors and causing rejection problems. Adult stem cells are non-controversial, ethical, and most importantly, effective in treating patients. We should not fund controversial research that destroys human life when we have other options that do not destroy human life.

The proposed regulations do not prevent future funding for embryonic stem cell research that could lead to the creation of clones and human-animal hybrids. This loophole must be closed immediately.

 
48196 05/26/2009 at 10:23:31 PM Self     For many Americans with a personal connection to type 1 diabetes, the Administration’s expansion of the federal policy on embryonic stem cell research has renewed our hope for a cure. I am writing today to support the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) draft guidelines and suggest a change to ensure promising, ethically conducted research currently underway will be eligible for federal funding in the future.

The Administration’s Executive Order on stem cell research restored scientific decision-making to its rightful place at the NIH. In these guidelines, the NIH has demonstrated its capacity to formulate a research framework that will unleash the potential of embryonic stem cell research while maintaining the highest safety and ethical standards. I would encourage the NIH, however, to grandfather into this policy stem cell lines that have received federal funding, as well as existing lines that were derived in an ethically-responsible manner according to the best practices at the time. Research on these stem cell lines should be eligible for federal funding so that scientists can maximize the scientific advancements already achieved through research on these lines.

Research should be vigorously pursued on all promising stem cell sources that could potentially lead to a cure for type 1 diabetes. While embryonic stem cell research is still in its early stages, this research has already yielded impressive results in our continuing effort to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Recent research suggests that embryonic stem cells can be differentiated to produce the insulin-producing beta cells that could reverse the course of type 1 diabetes.

We do not yet know which stem cell sources may ultimately lead to a cure or be the most clinically useful or practical for patients with type 1 diabetes. It is clear, however, that the more knowledge we gain about embryonic stem cells, the better we can assess the full therapeutic potential of all stem cell sources. These draft guidelines allowing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research using excess embryos from fertility clinics will ensure that this research matures and its potential is more fully realized. I commend the NIH for allowing this important research to expand in a scientifically and ethically appropriate manner.

 
48197 05/26/2009 at 10:23:36 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48198 05/26/2009 at 10:23:54 PM Self     *****MY 9 YEAR OLD HAS TYPE 1 DIABETES AND CELIAC DISEASE AND HER ONLY REAL HOPE FOR A CURE, AND ANSWERS TO HER PRAYERS TO BE HEALED, LIE WITH THE FUTURE ADVANCEMENTS IN STEM CELL RESEARCH> PLEASE HELP MAKE HER DREAM A REALITY FOR A PROBABLE CURE IN THE NEAR FUTURE< SUPPORT THE STEM CELL RESEARCH CAUSE!!!! IT MAY BE YOU,YOUR CHILD, OR YOUR LOVED ONE THAT WILL BE DEPENDING ON STEM CELL RESEARCH FOR THEIR/YOUR CURE IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE!*****For many Americans with a personal connection to type 1 diabetes, the Administration’s expansion of the federal policy on embryonic stem cell research has renewed our hope for a cure. I am writing today to support the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) draft guidelines and suggest a change to ensure promising, ethically conducted research currently underway will be eligible for federal funding in the future.

The Administration’s Executive Order on stem cell research restored scientific decision-making to its rightful place at the NIH. In these guidelines, the NIH has demonstrated its capacity to formulate a research framework that will unleash the potential of embryonic stem cell research while maintaining the highest safety and ethical standards. I would encourage the NIH, however, to grandfather into this policy stem cell lines that have received federal funding, as well as existing lines that were derived in an ethically-responsible manner according to the best practices at the time. Research on these stem cell lines should be eligible for federal funding so that scientists can maximize the scientific advancements already achieved through research on these lines.

Research should be vigorously pursued on all promising stem cell sources that could potentially lead to a cure for type 1 diabetes. While embryonic stem cell research is still in its early stages, this research has already yielded impressive results in our continuing effort to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Recent research suggests that embryonic stem cells can be differentiated to produce the insulin-producing beta cells that could reverse the course of type 1 diabetes.

We do not yet know which stem cell sources may ultimately lead to a cure or be the most clinically useful or practical for patients with type 1 diabetes. It is clear, however, that the more knowledge we gain about embryonic stem cells, the better we can assess the full therapeutic potential of all stem cell sources. These draft guidelines allowing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research using excess embryos from fertility clinics will ensure that this research matures and its potential is more fully realized. I commend the NIH for allowing this important research to expand in a scientifically and ethically appropriate manner.

 
48199 05/26/2009 at 10:24:26 PM Self     I am very much opposed to using tax payers' money to support embryonic stem cell research. Research has shown that adult stem cells have been highly effective in curing or improving the outcome of many disease processes. Research has found that embryonic stem cells have not been effective in curing or improving the outcome of any disease process. It is morally and ethically wrong to destroy life to cure diseases. . . and highly ineffective. I urge you to stop the destruction of unborn children, stop wasting tax payers money, and invest our money wisely in adult stem cell research.

 
48200 05/26/2009 at 10:24:51 PM Self     I am strongly opposed to the use of federal funds for stem cell research that requires the destruction of live human embryos. It is never morally permissable to destroy human life to save human life especially when there is the availability of adult stem cells. Created by almighty God, human life is sacred. Encouraging the use of invitro fertilization or cloning to produce human stem cells for research is of grave cncern. Allowing embryonic stem cell research violates medical ethics and the very Constitutional right to human life that was the basis for the founding of our country.

 
48201 05/26/2009 at 10:25:07 PM Self     I oppose all funding of embryonic stem cell research.

 
48202 05/26/2009 at 10:25:28 PM Self     As a tax payer I am sickened that our government wants to use tax money for Embryonic Stem Cell research. This kind of research is reprehensible, and it is completely unnecessary.

 
48203 05/26/2009 at 10:25:58 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48204 05/26/2009 at 10:26:06 PM Self     I do not believe embryonic stem cell research is a necessary or humane option for furthering science today. There are other methods which do not include destruction of a fertilized embryo that are equally effective for research. Please consider these alernate options. Helping one should never harm another.

 
48205 05/26/2009 at 10:26:47 PM Self     I oppose all funding.

 
48206 05/26/2009 at 10:27:02 PM Self     I strongly oppose embryonic stem cell research because it is completely unnecessary and unethical.

Adult Stem Cells have produced the necessary stem cells that have been utilized to solve numerous diseases and additional embryonic research is thus absolutely unnecessary.

Embryonic stem cell research is totally unethical because it is impossible to harvest the stem cells without killing the embryo.

 
48207 05/26/2009 at 10:27:15 PM Self     On Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research and How to Remove Them

A Public Comment on NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research

On March 9, 2009 US President Obama issued an Executive Order (13505) - Removing barriers to responsible scientific research. While it is natural for people to focus on a named application of this order ? research involving human stem cells, it would be a petty if we should lose sight of the grand goal of this Executive Order - removing barriers to responsible scientific research ? in its broad scope.

So before I deal with specific issues on human stem cell research as outlined in the NIH?s Guideline developed in response to the President?s Executive Order, I wish to address the grand goal of the Executive Order.

First I wish to define the meaning of ?responsible scientific research?. By convention, science is ?knowledge covering general truths?. So if the science we are taught is about the truths then it should be naturally responsible. Then, why would it require a President to issue an Executive Order to remove the barriers to responsible scientific research?

Apparently, there are some ?scientific? researches which are irresponsible and/or there are some barriers which have prevented irresponsible ?science? from being removed and/or blocked responsible science from coming in.

Secondly, I wish to identify some common barriers to responsible scientific research before I go into details of some irresponsible scientific research, especially in the field of stem cell research. I believe that, without removing these common barriers, no specific scientific discipline can become really responsible.

There are many common barriers to responsible scientific research. But the most significant and thus extremely harmful include: 1. Forces against transparency and openness in scientific communication; 2. Forces against democracy and objectivity in scientific evaluation; 3. Forces against regulation and discipline of scientific conduct.

Scientific research is a non-stop inquiry about nature and its laws of operation. Scientific knowledge is enriched through absorbing new discoveries and improves by discarding dogmas. This enrichment and improvement process requires open communications among scientists and transparency between scientific community and general public. Thus, openness and transparency in scientific communication should be mandatory for responsible scientific research. However, are today?s scientific communication systems really open and transparent? Why most scientific journals still heavily rely on secret peer-review systems that have been proven largely ineffective against irresponsible scientific research and mostly responsible for protection of plenty of misinformation and even some misconduct in scientific research? Why an open review system cannot be widely implemented in scientific publishing or a few open-review journals not popular among scientific communities? Why immunity should be given to journals which have published flawed and even fraud ?discoveries? repeatedly? Why are those fraud-publishing journals even allowed to keep their problematic handling of irresponsible research as some secrets? There have been some irresponsible scientists being punished with the retractions of their flawed and even fraud ?discoveries?. But have any repeatedly irresponsible journals been really punished for its truly irresponsible behaviors in scientific publishing? No! As a matter of fact, those journals publishing ?hot? but flawed research often received more citations and thus higher impact factors because retracted publication resulting from irresponsible research often collects more citations than comparable responsible researches and negative citations are significant contributors to presumably positive impact factors. Being aware of many and often reported flaws in the impact factors, why would some journals still want to keep playing the impact factor game? How can it be that the flawed and even fraudulent impact factor is allowed to dominate the evaluation of scientific publishing and pollute the candid and authentic spirit of scientific research?

When scientific communication is not truly open and evaluation of science is not made in a genuinely transparent way, democracy and objectivity in scientific evaluation is hard to guarantee. As a matter of fact, subjectivity and even dictatorship in scientific evaluation happen all the time. Many people have complained about the interference of politics on science. But the major resistance to scientific advancement comes from the scientific community. It is the strong protection of dogmas by some scientific authorities that have stalled the advancement of science to the most degree and contributed to the blooming of most irresponsible ?scientific? research.

It is actually these ?scientific? heavy-weights who are the strongest opponents of any regulation and discipline on scientific research. Their fight for the ?freedom? in scientific research is in essence an effort for maintaining their ?immunity? against any regulation and discipline on their irresponsibility in scientific research.

Thus, without removing these major common barriers, true responsible scientific research cannot come or may not be maintained even if it comes.

Now, let me address some specific presentations of irresponsible scientific research and how the above common barriers have been used against responsible science in the stem cell research.

Recently, a huge effort has been made to promote iPSCs ? induced pluripotent stem cells. The discovery of iPSCs have been described as directly reprogramming terminally differentiated adult cells into pluripotent stem cells that are indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells (ESCs). This technique has been heralded as having the real potential for easily and quickly developing patient-specific therapeutic stem cells that are not only safe (cancer-free) but also ethical (not destroying any embryos). These descriptions not only excited the stem cell research community and raised hope in general public but also pleased the previous White House administration and resulted in major shift in research funding.

However, are all the above claims made for iPSCs true?

Some criticisms have been expressed from the very beginning to challenge all the major claims made in the publications describing the discoveries on iPSCs and/or promoting the applications of iPSCs. These criticisms include: 1. A challenge on the direct reprogramming claim for inducing pluripotent stem cells from differentiated cells and a proposal of alternative view that iPSCs are most likely incorrectly programmed stem cells from existing stem cells; 2. A challenge to the ?indistinguishable? claim made for iPSCs as compared with ESCs and a conclusion that iPSCs are not only different from ESCs but also different from normal adult stem cells (ASCs); 3. A challenge to many ?cancer-free? claims made for different generations of iPSCs and a conclusion that iPSCs are man-made cancer cells; 4. A detailed hypothesis on how iPS technique turns normal cells into cancer cells and a challenge for iPSC research to prove their cancer-free claims and disprove the iPS oncogenesis hypothesis; 5. A warning against the potential abuse of iPSCs into biological weapons that could result in permanent genetic changes in human population and even server as sub-population-specific biological bombs.

These criticisms were all initially submitted to various relevant journals which have published the iPSC papers being criticized. However, even until today, none of these journals have accepted any of the above criticisms for publication.

All of the above criticisms were later published in double-open (open access and open review) scientific journals and sent to the corresponding authors of the criticized iPSC publications for rebuttal. However, none of the corresponding authors have submitted any response to be published as a rebuttal. As a matter of fact, most of the corresponding authors even did not respond.

Besides the formal publications of the above criticisms in double-open scientific journals, a peer-reviewed Review on iPSCs was also published in a well-established and well-respected stem cell journal. That publication has been heavily downloaded (ranked as number 1 or 2 most downloaded publication in that journal since its publication) but no citation has been found for it in any major publications on iPSC research, despite the fact that some of the views PUBLISHED in that review have been reflected in some later ?fresh looks? on iPSCs.

Many comments disclosing those alternative views on iPSCs have been posted on the public comment windows/blog sites of some ?top? journals. However, often these comments were removed by the journals without justifiable reasons or even without giving any reason. Some of these comments publicly invited all iPSC researchers to evaluate the alternative views on iPSCs and engage in constructive debate on some contention points. However, no iPSC researcher (in real name) has responded to these public invitations. Instead, some people (groups) under pseudo-names have posted even some name-callings and personal attacks in the highly-respected professional top journals. Those defamatory comments were kept by a journal despite of repeated protests while this journal repeatedly deleted scientific criticisms despite repeated protests.

Now, many of the claims made for iPSCs have been solidly proven as untrue. But no journal publishing those high-profile iPSC papers has issued any retraction on those untrue claims, not to say paid appropriate attribute to the critics. A prominent iPSC researcher who has played a major role in suppressing criticisms on iPSCs now states in Nature that those criticisms are just unpublished despite the fact that he was even given copies of the PUBLISHED criticisms and a peer-reviewed critical review on iPSCs has been published in a mainstream stem cell journal.

So, while some unknowledgeable scientists should be blamed for their initial misunderstandings of some scientific issues, the biased publishing industry for ?scientific? communication should take an even large share of punishment for their deliberate promotion of some misunderstandings in science.

Scientific research is about seeking truth. However, truth is not easy to be understood in many times. Thus, an open communication for exchanging different views is essential for scrutinizing more truthful from somehow untruthful observations and interpretations in scientific research and publication. Frankly, I think many stem cell researchers are not even sure what a stem cell should be because the currently widely accepted definition on stem cell is flawed and indefinite. As a matter of fact, the whole cell biology has been established on a fundamental misunderstanding of cell life ? a cell division view instead of a cell reproduction view. This fundamental mistake has doomed cell research including stem cell research into some paradoxical state which should have been overcome a long time ago if truthful revelation of cell life had been allowed into the mainstream.

By suppressing alternative views and even trash solid critics, a biased publishing industry has advanced some pseudo-science to the largest extent in the history of human civilization. Thus, this unscientific and irresponsible publishing practice has directly or indirectly promoted irresponsible ?scientific? research and is the most severe barrier to responsible scientific research.

Therefore, we need to overcome this most significant and also most imminent barrier first if we wish to usher in an era of responsible scientific research. Fortunately, a true revolution in scientific publishing has already begun a decade ago. But more public support is needed for this genuine revolution. Right now this genuine revolution in scientific publishing is largely a single man?s efforts, but it is hoped that the whole scientific community will be united as one responsible scientific research unit with open communication and transparent evaluation on scientific discoveries. In that way any dishonesty and unethical behaviors would be easily exposed to public and any flawed views would be quickly subjected to criticisms before they are cast into any dogma.

In comparing with the above broad scope view of ?removing barriers to responsible scientific research? as ordered the by the US President, NIH?s draft Guidelines for human stem cell research is apparently far from satisfaction. This guideline focused on a tree but lost the sight of a forest. It essentially has responded to a political requirement of defining the so-called ?ethical? stem cells for research but missed a basic requirement for defining the essential features of responsible scientific research, especially involving human stem cells.

Thus, major revisions should be done to address the above significant deficiencies in the NIH Guidelines for human stem cell research. Instead of focusing only on defining what stem cells are ?ethical? for research, the Guidelines should be expanded to include provisions on how to define responsible scientific research in its broad as well as narrow senses and articulate some general and specific measures for implementing responsible scientific research.

Some suggested measures are:

1. All authors especially those designated as ?corresponding? authors, should be required to provide response to scientific criticism and/or ethical question on their research especially on their PUBLISHED research; 2. All journals which has published the research being criticized should be required to PUBLISH scientific criticism and/or ethical question on their PUBLICATIONS (online only and/or in print); 3. All invalid conclusions and/or untruthful statement of any PUBLISHED research should be PUBLICLY confronted with a truthful statement as contained in a retraction or correction, regardless of whether or not a misconduct is involved in the original research; 4. Before a fully-open and totally transparent scientific publishing system is established all journals still insisting on secret peer review should be required to submit at least the review comments they received for the flawed publication so that some real lessons can be learnt from the mistakes previously made; 5. Any person or organization persisting in irresponsible behavior towards scientific criticism should be barred from receiving any support of PUBLIC TAXPAYERS? money; 6. All parties involved in the suppression of scientific criticism should be subject to criticism or condemnation according to some rules and regulations TO BE ESTABLISHED.

Besides these major revisions covering the general aspects of stem cell or any responsible scientific research, the NIH Guideline should also add more iPS cell research as ineligible for public funding. These amended ineligible iPS research directions should include (continuing with the already identified on section III): C. Research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed discarded or knowingly subject to risk of injury or death greater than that normally seen in natural reproduction. D. Research in which a known oncogenic factor (including oncogene, oncoprotein and onco-RNA) was included in the generation of pluripotent stem cells that are cancerous by nature.

In addition, the written informed consent obtained from a donor of source cells for making iPS cells should include information that the donated cells may be changed genetically and/or epigenetically to even possess some harmful effects. Similarly, the informed consent given to a recipient of the iPS cell treatment should include information regarding the genetic and/or epigenetic changes that have been made intentionally or produced unexpected from some unknown processes. The informed consent should not contain unverified information such as stating that the iPS cells are genetically identical to the recipient and thus are at no risk of being rejected by the recipient?s immune system unless there is an absolute proof for such claims.

Now, having amended some detailed regulations on iPS cell research and clinical applications, I wish to come back to the general rules and regulations TO BE ESTABLISHED. Ideally, this should be a high priority for the NIH or other more appropriate governmental agencies to look into this matter first. This is because, without such rules and regulations controlling responsible scientific research, no responsible scientific research can be really established or maintained.

When faced with a legal complaint of ?4D? actions which include (a) Repeated DECEPTION in science with rejections of all submissions from Plaintiff 1 and ignoring all publications from Plaintiff 2 against untruthful claims and erroneous descriptions appeared in Defendants? publications; (b) Repeated DEFAMATION to Plaintiff 1 even with name-calling, character trashing, and direct personal attacking and to Plaintiff 2 with image-degradation and reputation attacks aimed at destroying its moral integrity and scientific value; (c) Repeated DISCRIMINATION against a Plaintiff 1 by selectively deleting statements made by the Plaintiff 1 and against Plaintiff 2 by intentionally ignoring pioneering publications appeared in Plaintiff 2?s scientific journals. (d) Repeated DISRUPTION on normal scientific communication by deleting statements published by Plaintiff 1 and his supporters, removing their user accounts, preventing their access to the Defendants? communication systems declared to open to public and even locking a blog system completely to block normal flow of scientific exchanges, the legal team of Nature/Macmillan has even requested the case be dismissed by a court. One reason stated in the motion for dismissal is: ?deception in science?, ?discrimination by selectively deleting statements? and ?disruption of normal scientific communication? are not ?cognizable under the common law?.

Thus, without developing the much needed rules and regulations for responsible scientific research, irresponsible research will be continued and flawed information will still be maintained in scientific publications especially those in the mainstream. For examples, Cell has maintained an invalid conclusion that ?Takahashi and Yamanaka (2006) have successfully reprogrammed terminally differentiated cells to a pluripotent state? despite the publication of many solid criticisms and even an admission by Yamanaka that ?We have never claimed that we generated iPS cells from terminally differentiated cells?. Nature has published so many papers claiming iPS cells are ?indistinguishable? from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) but, by contrast, has firmly refused to publish any solid criticism disputing this claim. Nevertheless, knowing the existence of criticisms published against this invalid claim, it still published a false statement by Jaenisch that those observations on the distinctions between iPS cells and ESCs are ?just unpublished?. Science has rejected all of my Technical Comments on its publication on iPS cells and even ignored repeated requests for investigating some data problems revealed in some of its publications on iPS cells.

Thus, when the ?CNS? of scientific publishing enterprise has become rotten to such a degree that even some truthful revelations on scientific research are not allowed and some outright lies can be firmly maintained, how could we expect responsible scientific research to flourish in the mainstream? As a matter of fact, many ?peripheral? journals just followed the bad examples of the most ?top? journals in judging the ?trends? of science and pushing the ?right? buttons. For example, some concealments of conflict of interest by some iPS cell researchers were exposed recently. However, none of the journals receiving such revelation would even be willing to publish Letters/Correspondence asking for clarifications/corrections. PNAS had chosen to rather believe a ?satisfactory response? from its prominent author than give a benefit of doubt to a courageous whistleblower. Only after facing some strong protests (electronically in front of many powerful figures in science) that PNAS finally agreed to ask the author to make some correction. But it still refuses to disclose even the directly related content of the originally ?satisfactory response? that led to the rejection of the submitted exposure Letter and still keeps its rejection decision citing ?Letters may not include requests to cite the letter writer's work, accusations of misconduct, or personal comments to an author?.

Even worse than these refusals to publishing truth-revealing information, some journals have engaged in public condemnation of responsible scientists. In response to the publications of criticisms to some flaws in iPS cell publications and right after rejecting a comprehensive review on iPS cell research which revealed some data problems in Yamanaka?s just published Science paper (on line version only then), an Editorial in Nature states ?The criticism of Yamanaka's article came from an anonymous source who seemed bent on a personal attack?. In a strictly moderated comment window for a News article following this Editorial, the responsible scientist was even identified as a ?madman?, ?just plain neurotic?, and ?a nuisance? in a series comments allowed by Nature. These name-calling personal attacks were well kept by Nature while many truth-revealing scientific comments were repeatedly removed by Nature, often without any reason despite repeated protests and requests for a reason. Eventually, the publishing executive editor even posted comments under her real name to denounce scientific criticisms as a result of single spammer and even engaged in public discussion with others who called this responsible scientist as ?pest?. These activities aimed at destroying the credibility and reputation of a scientifically insightful and ethically responsible scientist continued over a year until a legal lawsuit was filed. Then amazingly, all the comments previously PUBLISHED under some Nature News were COMPLETELY deleted. However, Nature has issued no apology to the reputation-damaged responsible scientist and even continued in rejecting his truth-revealing submissions. The legal team for Nature/Macmillan now state that ?none of the statements complained ? constitute publications which are defamatory per se and, more amazingly, ?the statements complained of ? are not capable of being proved true or false?.

Thus, the irresponsible scientific research as revealed from some stem cell research represents just a tiny tip of a huge iceberg which has maintained its coolness since the loss of last Enlightenment. Many career scientists are now hijacked onto some impact factor-searching band wagons, their primary goals are thus no longer searching truth but seeking recognition. Truth can be found only in one way ? telling nothing but the truth ? the very objective observations and logical interpretations on the observations. However, recognition can be found in various ways including faking data and fabricating discovery. Unfortunately, many successful and thus powerful ?scientists? nowadays are just those politically seasoned ?professionals? or ?figure heads? as called by a ?stranger? Russian mathematician who single-handedly resolved a very difficult math conjecture but refused to re-publishing his finding in any peer-reviewed top journal.

We definitely need a very specific guideline on how to carry out responsible scientific research involving human stem cells. However, we urgently need a clear general guideline on how to perform responsible scientific research in all scientific disciplines.

Science has no border limits. So is, unfortunately, the damage of irresponsible scientific research. While many scientific awards are truly international in scope, punishment on scientific irresponsibility often varies location by location. Thus, for promoting responsible scientific research that is beneficial to all human beings, we also need to establish some common laws, regulations and rules that are implementable throughout the whole world. Internet communication has tied together almost every corner of the whole planet as one global scientific community. We should not allow sectional statutes to block justice from serving to anyone hiding anywhere.

To achieve that grand goal, we may need to have the heads of all nations to come to a consensus conclusion that, for the common benefits of humanity and civilization, we need a revolution in scientific research and publishing.

 
48208 05/26/2009 at 10:27:41 PM Self     Stem cell research compromises the constitutional rights of helpless human beings. Please...there are other ways to solve the problems we have. God will lead us in the right direction if we follow His will.

 
48209 05/26/2009 at 10:27:54 PM Self     Stem cell research holds much promise in the search for a cure and better treatments for the nearly 24 million American adults and children with diabetes, as well as those with many other serious medical conditions.

This research will allow scientists an opportunity to better explore how to control and direct stem cells so they can grow insulin-producing beta cells found in the pancreas. Creating new beta cells could mean a cure for type 1 diabetes and could provide a powerful tool for controlling type 2 diabetes.

I strongly support the draft guidelines on embryonic stem cell research. They demonstrate the ability of NIH to create a research framework that will allow for the potential of embryonic stem cell research while maintaining the highest safety and ethical standards.

As this process moves forward, however, I hope that NIH will consider adapting the guidelines to ensure they include funding not only new stem cell lines, but current stem cell lines that have been developed using prevailing ethical practices. Research on these current stem cell lines should be eligible for federal funding as part of the final rule.

Given the enormous promise of stem cells for diseases such as diabetes, it is important to allow federal funding for all forms of stem cell research, including research on embryonic stem cells, and that NIH continue to adapt as our scientists learn more about the promise of stem cell research.

I commend NIH for taking this important action to support research that provides the potential for new treatments, and ultimately a cure, for diabetes.

 
48210 05/26/2009 at 10:28:19 PM Self     This is to inform you that I am completely opposed to the use of my federal tax dollars for embryonic stem cell research as has been proposed by the Obama administration. This decision is immoral and against the wishes of millions of American citizens. The overwhelming scientific and medical conclusion is that each human life begins at conception when the sperm fertilizes the egg. Sex, hair and eye coloring, and many other human attributes are already determined at conception. Hopefully, NIH and its proposed Guidelines will not overlook this scientific evidence and testimony.

 
48211 05/26/2009 at 10:29:10 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48212 05/26/2009 at 10:29:26 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48213 05/26/2009 at 10:30:02 PM Self     It has come to my attention that, following President Obama’s laudable lifting of the Bush “Presidential ESC Lines” funding restrictions, that the National Institute of Health has issued draft guidelines for future regulation of embryonic stem cell research funded with public monies. I applaud the NIH’s concern for both best scientific practice and the moral implications that arise with ESC. Recent articles in scientific journals, however, and their coverage in the news has led me to be concerned about a few of the draft provisions. I provide these comments as a non-scientist taxpayer interested in providing scientists with the guidelines and support necessary for the efficient and enlightened conduct of their research.

I urge the National Institute of Health to carefully consider the question of retroactivity raised by Patrick L. Taylor in his Cell Stem Cell article “Retroactive Ethics in Rapidly Developing Scientific Fields,” published June 5, 2009 (and released prior to that date on the internet). The potential benefits from performing research on existing stem cell lines should not be discarded on the basis of new ethics regulation requiring forms or documentation that for practical or other reasons simply could not be completed for these older lines.

I also urge the National Institute of Health to allow funding for embryos developed outside the reproductive context, specifically for research purposes. IVF embryos, while doubtless essential, are not representative of the US population. Restricting NIH funding to IVF embryos would make it difficult for researchers to gain access to a variety of disease-prone genotypes, especially those associated with minority and economically disadvantaged populations that are underrepresented in the IVF pool. NIH stem cell funding (and the medical advancements therefore achieved) should not be restricted to the genes of wealthy Americans.

Thank you for your time and attention.

 
48214 05/26/2009 at 10:30:14 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48215 05/26/2009 at 10:30:58 PM Self     The National Institutes of Health should rescind its guidelines proposing to use federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying live human embryos. It is especially troubling that some supporters of this research are urging the NIH to endorse an even broader policy, encouraging the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research. Such creation of new life solely to destroy it would mark the final reduction of human beings to mere objects or commodities.

My tax dollars should not be used to promote destructive embryonic stem cell research or any form of human cloning. Instead support should be directed to adult stem cell research, which is ethically sound, harms no one, and is already helping suffering patients with dozens of conditions.

 
48216 05/26/2009 at 10:31:10 PM Self     I strongly oppose the destruction (killing) of human embryos to obtain stem cells for research purposes and am, therefore, very much troubled by the proposed new guidelines. I did not support the decision of President Bush which for the first time permitted federally funded human embryonic stem cell research; though I do acknowledge there may be a legitimate comparison of that allowance (which limited use to lines available on or before August 9, 2001) to research using human cadavers. Changing the Bush policy according to the proposed new guidelines, however, is a very different matter; allowing for destruction of countless more human embryos. I believe such destruction to be totally unethical, and citizens like me should not be forced to fund such activity. In our country we do not permit destruction of a human life for any research purposes--regardless of the possibility that such research might lead to treatments and cures of many serious human conditions and diseases--that is, so long as the human life has achieved birth. We should not discriminate against a human life because of stage of development. Every embryo will develop though all stages to birth unless death occurs. Death by the hands of a researcher should not be permitted simply because a human life is at one of the earliest stages of development. It is a matter of justice. Further, aside from these considerations of morality and ethics, it does not seem feasible or logical for ANY available funding to be diverted from research that is already showing such promise in treatments and cures using non-embryonic stem cells obtained from adult tissue and placental cord blood, etc., while research utilizing embryonic stem cells has not provided even a single effective such result. The proposed guidelines open the door to terrible vistas for the respect and dignity of humanity. There is much discussion of "leftover" frozen embryos in fertility clinics. Even if an embryo has been abandoned, however, this does not make it moral or ethical for researchers to have the right of destruction; much less to require taxpayers to pay the cost of that destruction. Biomedical research must not be divorced from respect for human life---at any stage of human life. Patients who are suffering in their lives from devastating illnesses do deserve the best efforts of science and medicine on their behalf, but not at the cost of the destruction of the human life of another--at any stage of development. They absolutely do deserve as much funding as is available for research to be used for that research which shows the most promise. In this matter this is clearly not embryonic stem cell research. It has been reported that Director Zerhouni expressed that the Bush policy was sufficient for basic research. Even in all the privately funded research, use of embryonic stem cells has not produced evidence of the promise already proven using non-embryonic stem cells. We have the proof that non-embryonic stem cells can treat and cure. Why divert resources away from that which is already proving successful and does not have the accompanying moral and ethical complications? Finally, I find it frightening to consider how guidelines such as those proposed could usher in a most terrible policy of "creating to kill".... i.e., the creation of human embryos purposefully generated for research requiring their destruction. This is against every principal of a moral humanity. In his address at Notre Dame, President Obama spoke urging the honoring of consciences and also urged his listeners to "Remember that each of us, endowed with the dignity possessed by all children of God, has the grace to recognize ourselves in one another..." Must we not admit that each of us began our journey to whatever stage of human development we have now reached from the embryonic stage, and had that one and only embryo--which was as surely the person who we are then as is the person who we are today--been destroyed, there would never ever be in the world the persons who are us? These proposed guidelines which violate the consciences of so many whose tax dollars would be used for research we consider unethical and immoral would be a travesty of humane and responsible research guidelines.

 



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